Daniel Hynes

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Probable Cause & What It Means For Your DWI Case

What is it that separates third world police states from the United States of America? The answer can be summed up in two words: probable cause. Plainly stated, this is what prevents law enforcement officials from investigating or detaining American citizens without a solid reason. Police officers are required to possess “reasonable suspicion” that an illegal act has or is occurring before a suspect can be questioned. For example, if an officer observed an individual from a different ethnic background operating a motor vehicle, the motorist cannot be pulled over for the color of their skin. The officer must witness the individual committing an illegal act, like driving without a license plate or speeding. In short, New Hampshire motorists cannot be pulled over by police unless the officers have a rational explanation.

In a similar fashion, let’s say that a witness called a local police station stating that they had observed an automobile being driven erratically. On the basis of this tip, law enforcement officials decide to go searching for a vehicle that matches the description they were provided. The police officer cannot pull over that vehicle simply because they were able to locate it. They must observe the motorist driving the vehicle actually committing a criminal offense.

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Manchester Teen Charged With Aggravated DWI, Transportation of Alcohol

A Manchester teenager entered an innocent plea on January 2nd, 2014 in the Manchester District Division Circuit Court after being charged with an aggravated DWI, unlawful possession, illegal transportation of alcoholic beverages by a minor, and allowing an unauthorized individual to operate a motor vehicle.

Manchester police officers stated that Sean M, 18 years of age, was operating a motor vehicle on December 14th, 2013 before 2 a.m. along Dubuque Street while having a BAC of .02% or higher, in addition to having a passenger in the vehicle who was under 16 years of age. Furthermore, Seab has been charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor, unlawful transportation of alcohol by a minor, and with allowing his 14 year old companion to illegally drive his SUV on New Hampshire roadways.

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Could the Future of DWI Testing Lie In Swab Tests?

Law enforcement officials in the state of California are about to begin employing a newer technology in 2014 in an effort to identify, arrest, and prosecute intoxicated motorists. NBC Los Angeles has reported that a government grant within California is enabling law enforcement officials to increase their usage of swab tests at DWI/DUI checkpoints and in jails test suspects for the existence of alcohol and drugs in their bloodstream. Police officers in California have recently observed an increase in the amount of motorists who operate automobiles under the influence of drugs, including marijuana. Just like in the state of New Hampshire, a motorist who drives an automobile while under the influence of prescription, illegal, or over the counter medications can be charged with a DWI within California.

With the number of active motorists impaired by drugs higher than ever, law enforcement officials have deemed a need to be able to prosecute and recognize such motorists. The use of a swab test is quickly being recognized as a simple and fast method for police officers to determine if drugs are present in a person’s system. This test works by having an absorbent cotton swab placed in the suspect’s mouth. A saliva sample is absorbed in the swab, and then it is removed from the mouth. The sample is then conveyed to a laboratory where it is compared with known samples of popular drugs to determine if these substances were in the suspect’s mouth. The notion behind this idea is that an individual who consumes drugs possesses traces of drugs within their body that can be identified through the saliva.

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Can An Emergency Situation Be Used As An Excuse For Driving While Intoxicated?

In December of 2013, The ABA Journal published an article about a case originating in Canada where the judge found a defendant not guilty, although he did operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated, because an emergency situation forced him to deliver an injured friend to the local hospital to receive medical treatment. The friend had sustained injuries to their head after striking it on a metal stair railing after a fall. After being accidentally locked out of their nearby apartment and being unable to reach their cellphones, it was determined that the pair had no other reasonable option than to drive intoxicated to the local hospital.

Causes of this particular nature can be divided into one of two different categories, both of which overlap somewhat. The first category is referred to as justification defense cases wherein an emergency situation presents a pressing need to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The second category is referred to as duress defense cases in which a motorist possesses a need to escape a dangerous scenario, like a domestic abuser who is on a rampage.

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When a person is arrested for DWI, penalties come not only from the courts, but also from the Dept. of Safety.  The Dept. of Safety has the authority to suspend a person’s driver’s license if he/she; refuses to submit to a physical, blood, urine, or blood test as requested by a law enforcement officer; or, submits to a test which discloses an alcohol concentration of .08 or more; or, is under the age of 21 and submits to a test which discloses an alcohol concentration of .02 or more. This suspension may be in addition to any court imposed suspension.  The license loss is 6 months for a first offense, or 2 years for a second refusal/test over or a previous DWI conviction.

 The Dept. of Safety has also been given the authority to require the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in order to restore your driving privileges.   The interlock device can be required for a minimum of one year, up to two years. This again is on top of any requirements imposed by the courts.  Like in a court hearing, you have the right to be represented by an attorney in an administrative hearing before the Dept. of Safety.  There is a lot more at stake than you might realize, and only an experienced DWI Lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and achieve the best possible outcome.

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http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304475004579276233917668764

"Scientists have known for years how heavy use of alcohol and drugs works on reward centers in the brain to drive dependence. The new research, including a study published in November in JAMA Internal Medicine and early-stage drug testing at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, is revealing another, darker side to how such substances impact the brain. By transforming its chemical architecture, drinking and drug use trigger feelings of anxiety and tension that can only be eased by more consumption."

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While this dark side has been documented in laboratory animals and in some human testing, its validity in people was significantly bolstered by the recent JAMA-published study, led by Dr. Mason, indicating that a drug that targets dependency's stressful effects helped quitters. Its findings: About 45% of the 150 alcoholics who took the highest dose of the drug, known generically as gabapentin, either stopped drinking altogether or did so only occasionally.

In 2011, more than 21 million Americans needed treatment for a problem related to alcohol or drugs, according to the federal government's most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Many try to quit, but studies show 60% or more of alcoholics and drug addicts relapse within a year of trying to kick their habit, addiction specialists say."

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http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/don-t-drive-drunk--even-in-a-videogame-185327129.html

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AMO_RACING87, who is described as one of the world's most talented Gran Turismo players, takes a couple shots of whiskey and then wobbles over to his monitor and console for a  few laps in the popular racing game.

Things don't go well. The driver can't seem to take the turns. He runs into walls, crashes into cars, and generally drives like he's, well, drunk."

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One new law that took effect on January 1 is to allow bars to stay open longer.

http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20131227-NEWS-131229822

"New Hampshire bar patrons will be able to drink up until 2 a.m., but only if the local governing body passes an ordinance allowing the change, according to a law taking effect on Jan. 1."

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http://www.autoblog.com/2013/12/16/ny-police-officer-ticket-car-washer-own-driveway/?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000588

"In Garden City, NY, there is apparently a village ordinance aimed at preventing people from washing their cars (and furniture) in public places. That doesn't sound terribly absurd, but what what takes things up a notch is these officers' judgement – their reading of the code about "public places" also includes washing vehicles on private property in public view."

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/pippi-longstocking-tami-erin-arrested_n_4452482.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

"Former "Pippi Longstocking" star Tami Erin was arrested Saturday (Dec. 14) for DUI and felony hit-and-run.

Erin was arrested in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon after hitting three cars on three separate occasions and fleeing the scene. When cops found her, they conducted a field sobriety test and said she was "totally out of control ... just out of it."

The former actress was arrested and held on $100,000 bail, according to TMZ. One person was taken to the hospital after the incident."

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http://news.yahoo.com/judge--nsa-spying-%E2%80%98almost-orwellian---likely-unconstitutional-200101613.html

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In a stinging rebuke to President Barack Obama’s surveillance policies, a federal judge on Monday branded the National Security Agency’s mass collection of Americans’ telephone data “almost Orwellian” and likely a violation of the Constitution.

Appeals Court Judge Richard Leon invoked Founding Father James Madison and the Beatles in a frequently scathing ruling. Leon, appointed by then-President George W. Bush, ordered the government to halt bulk collection of so-called telephony metadata and destroy information already collected through that program. But he suspended his order as the case works its way through the courts.

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘abitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval,” Leon wrote.

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It is often said the judge is like a second prosecutor. In this case, it appears to be so. I am guessing criminal charges won't be brought, but that conduct could well had been interfering with justice, or possibly some form of witness tampering.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/24/texas-judge-forced-to-resign-after-caught-texting-instructions-to-assistant-da-during-trial/\"

Elizabeth E. Coker may forever be known as the "texting judge," but her notoriety will soon be all that is left of her days on the bench of the 258th District Court of Polk, Trinity, and San Jacinto Counties. Coker signed an "AGREEMENT TO RESIGN FROM JUDICIAL OFFICE IN LIEU OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION" with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct…

The agreement comes in the wake of a recent investigation revealing Coker texted instructions from the bench to a Polk County Assistant District Attorney who was assisting in the prosecution of a case in Coker's court.

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[J]udge Coker used Assistant District Attorney Jones to privately communicate information about the Reeves case to the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case; to suggest questions for the prosecutor to ask during the trial; to ensure that a witness was able to refresh his memory and rehabilitate his testimony by reviewing his videotaped interview with law enforcement before he took the stand for the second time the following day; and to discuss legal issues pertinent to the case. in an unsuccessful effort to assist the State obtain a guilty verdict in the case…

[t]he Commission investigated claims that Judge Coker allegedly engaged in other improper ex parte communications and meetings with Jones, other members of the Polk County District Attorney's Office, the San Jacinto County District Attorney, and certain defense attorneys regarding various Cases pending in her court; Judge Coker allegedly exhibited a bias in favor of certain attorneys and a prejudice against others in both her judicial rulings and her court appointments: and Judge Coker allegedly met with jurors in an inappropriate manner, outside the presence of counsel, while the jurors were deliberating in one or more criminal trials…

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"t]he Commission also expressed concerns that Judge Coker discussed the Commission's investigation and Judge Coker's written responses to the investigation with a material witness prior to that witness' testimony before the Commission in an apparent attempt to influence that witness, and that the judge may not have been candid and truthful in her testimony before the Commission when questioned about her contact with the witness..."
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http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/boy_16_gets_10-year_probation_in_fatal_crash_that_killed_4_people_state_had/?utm_source=maestro&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly_email

A 16-year-old driver has been sentenced to 10 years of probation by a Texas juvenile court judge after pleading guilty last week to drunken driving and intoxication manslaughter concerning a June chain-reaction accident he caused that killed four people.

The youth, who is not identified because he is a juvenile, also pleaded guilty to two counts of intoxication assault, concerning two passengers riding in the bed of his pickup who were critically injured (one is paralyzed and communicates by blinking). The defendant will be held in detention in Tarrant County while a potential treatment program is arranged for him, the Star-Telegram reports. His blood-alcohol level after the crash was 0.24 percent, three times the legal limit for an adult.

In a controversial Tuesday ruling, State District Judge Jean Boyd rejected a call by state prosecutors for a 20-year prison term and said it would be better for the teen to receive expensive residential treatment in California that his wealthy parents have agreed to pay for. The program, which can cost $450,000 annually, is intended to address what a psychologist described as a family situation in which the teen had money and material possessions but little parental guidance, stunting his emotional growth, the newspaper recounts.

A Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog post derided the judge's "poor little rich boy" stance and questioned, as other critics have also done, why the standard of justice seemingly may be different for those with money.

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http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/09/the-right-to-an-attorney-who-actually-does-his-job/?_r=0

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On Dec. 4, a federal judge in Washington State issued a stinging rebuke of the public-defense systems of two towns near Seattle, finding them so inadequate that they violate the Sixth Amendment right to the assistance of counsel in criminal prosecutions.

Calling it “little more than a ‘meet and plead’ system,” U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik excoriated the cities of Mt. Vernon and Burlington, Washington, for failing to provide meaningful representation to indigent defendants facing misdemeanor charges."

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In CT, teens were arrested for not stopping someone from driving who was allegedly drunk.

http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/teens-charged-as-accomplices-for-letting-friend-drive-drunk-194849860.html

"Two 17-year-old boys arrested in Glastonbury, CT on Thursday are finding out the hard way that you can. They were charged with misdemeanors, as police say they knew their friend Jane Modlesky, also 17, was too drunk to drive when she got behind the wheel of an SUV in July before crashing into a tree and dying. "

"“They very well knew that she was intoxicated and should not have been driving,” Agent James Kennedy of the Glastonbury Police Department tells NBC Connecticut."

"In Washington in 2002, for example, a 29-year-old woman was charged with being an accomplice to drunken and reckless driving after she was accused of convincing someone to get behind the wheel; the subsequent accident killed six people, while she was the only survivor. She was later acquitted by the state Supreme Court. While that was a rare case, a more frequent situation is that of bartenders being held liable, under state "dram shop" laws, for continuing to serve drunk patrons who then get behind the wheel of a vehicle."

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http://finance.yahoo.com/news/amsterdam-has-a-deal-for-alcoholics--work-paid-in-beer-164244203.html

“You have to look sharp,” said Mr. Schiphorst, 60, a former construction worker.

His workday begins unfailingly at 9 a.m. — with two cans of beer, a down payment on a salary paid mostly in alcohol. He gets two more cans at lunch and then another can or, if all goes smoothly, two to round off a productive day.

“I’m not proud of being an alcoholic, but I am proud to have a job again,” said Mr. Schiphorst, the grateful beneficiary of an unusual government-funded program to lure alcoholics off the streets by paying them in beer to pick up trash.

In addition to beer — the brand varies depending on which brewery offers the best price — each member of the cleaning team gets half a packet of rolling tobacco, free lunch and 10 euros a day, or about $13.55.

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The idea of providing alcoholics with beer in return for work, he said, was first tried in Canada. It took off in the Netherlands in part because the country has traditionally shunned “zero tolerance” in response to addiction. Amsterdam now has three districts running beer-for-work street cleaning programs, and a fourth discussing whether to follow suit. Other Dutch cities are looking into the idea, too."

"“If you just say, ‘Stop drinking and we will help you,’ it doesn’t work,” said Mr. Wijnands, whose foundation gets 80 percent of its financing from the state and runs four drug consumption rooms with free needles for hardened addicts. “But if you say, ‘I will give you work for a few cans of beer during the day,’ they like it.”

To shield the government from criticism that it is subsidizing drinking, the Rainbow Foundation insists that it pays for the beer given to Mr. Schiphorst and his fellow alcoholics out of its own funds. “For the government, it is hard to say, ‘We buy beer for a particular group of people,’ because other people will say, ‘I would like some beer, too,’ ” Mr. Wijnands said.

“It would be beautiful if they all stopped drinking, but that is not our main goal,” he added. “You have to give people an alternative, to show them a path other than just sitting in the park and drinking themselves to death.”"

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If you have been arrested in Massachusetts and need a criminal defense lawyer in the Brockton area, give Attorney Scott Bradley a call for a free phone consultation. Or see his website at: http://www.ma-criminal-lawyer.com/

His office is in West Bridgewater MA.

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Your DWI Arrest: Cooperation and Silence

First and foremost, if you are arrested, or have been arrested, for a New Hampshire DWI, then you must contact a skilled and experienced DWI attorney who specializes in defending these types of cases. Your New Hampshire DWI lawyer will review the procedures police officers followed in detaining you, administering tests, and arresting you to gauge if your legal rights were violated. If so, then any evidence gathered against you may be inadmissible in a court of law.

Although the process of being arrested is frightening and disoriented, there are a few critical reminders that you must bear in mind:

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The New Hampshire Holiday DWI Season Has Begun

Next week is Thanksgiving, and this is the week that formally kicks off the holiday season, which lasts through the New Year. The holiday season is generally full of travel and holiday parties as thousands of New Hampshire residents celebrate festivities with family members and friends. This time period is also classified as “DUI Season” in New Hampshire, with DUI arrests reaching a high point for the calendar year. 

In the law enforcement community, Thanksgiving Eve is often referred to as “Black Wednesday”. It is considered the unofficial busiest bar night of the calendar year. Coincidentally, it is also the single busiest night for police officers when it comes to making DWI arrests. Furthermore, nationwide, Thanksgiving weekend is the busiest weekend of the year for roadways in terms of traffic volume. More than 90% of Americans who travel this weekend will be doing so by car. The sheer volume of traffic, combined with the number of individuals who drink, can produce deadly results.

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Survey Says New Hampshire Teenagers Are Risking DWI Arrests

Parents in the state of New Hampshire understand that a specific amount of rebellious behavior is to be expected from their adolescent children; however, when rebellious actions result in increasingly risky behavior, these same parents may find that they now require the services of an experienced New Hampshire lawyer to assist their child, as well as themselves, in navigating through the NH criminal justice system.

According to a recently released survey of New Hampshire’s young motorists, a number of parents and teenagers can expect to find themselves dealing with charges of texting while driving and driving while intoxicated as they wade into the system.

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